The new sweater is an homage to the 1967-1970 Leafs' sweater.
Yesterday Icethetics posted pictures of the Maple Leafs' new third sweater courtesy a reader who was in the Buffalo Sabres' team store. It is a return to the crest that the team wore when they won their final Stanley Cup championship in 1967. It on its own was based on historical sweaters that the team had worn and was released at an odd time:
The first major modification in four decades was made to both the Leafs' home and road uniform prior to the start of the 1967 playoffs. The standard 35-point Leaf crest was replaced with a solid 11-point Maple Leaf - similar to the Maple Leaf displayed on the new Canadian flag - in celebration of Canada's centennial year. ``Toronto'' still curved slightly downward. The two stripes on the arm and waist were replaced with one set of thin-wide-thin stripes, not unlike those on the Leaf uniform of 1928. The road uniform still retained the solid blue yolk on the shoulders.
Imagine a team releasing a new look at the start of the playoffs now.
The design of this jersey was actually first leaked by Working Class Howard before the Fan590 finally bowed to public pressure and canned the walking tribute to grandmothers' knitting.
Based on that description, As part of his petition to get the Leafs to change their sweater Jeffler of Leafs HQ came up with a concept design which was almost spot on a few months before Berger leaked the early details:
Effecting a change in jerseys or introducing a third jersey can take upwards of 18 months and extensive consultation with the NHL. Considering the timeline that a team has to follow in order to get a new design approved by the league it is no surprise that the final product looks may be exactly like the jerseys they wore on the night they honoured the 1967 Cup-winning team:
The only difference seems to be in the supposed silver outline around the crest that is apparently too difficult to discern from the picture that was taken but that'll be easier to determine when it's seen in public. The success of the jersey will be tied directly to how well the team does while wearing them. While the jersey will obviously sell well (what TML related gear doesn't?) it's ultimate success will depend on the more memories that the team produces while wearing them. It worked wonders for the 35 point Leaf:
What do you think of the new sweater?
Beautiful - Can't wait to get it. (297 votes)
Weird - The lower case 'n' really throws me off (277 votes)
Ok - Hope the crest has the same magic it had the first time (309 votes)
883 total votes